Though progressing into his seventh decade of life, Henry Clay was pulled back into the public sphere as the nation’s new president, James K Polk, led the nation into war with Mexico. Despite ill health and personal issues, Clay aimed one more time for the Executive Mansion and instead found himself being called to the Senate once more to prevent the disunion of the nation. Source information for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
John Tyler’s unexpected ascendancy to the presidency causes both Whigs and Democrats to think and rethink their strategies for the 1844 presidential election. Presumptive candidates Henry Clay and Martin Van Buren prepare to lead their respective parties into the general campaign, but for both, complications arise that threaten their political futures as the ambitious new president makes a priority of bringing Texas into the Union. Dissension in the ranks, rivals for power, and increased sectional tensions all threaten to make 1844 a year that Clay and Van Buren may wish to forget. Source information for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com
He may have lost in 1832, but that didn’t mean that Henry Clay lost his desire for the presidency. As 1836 and 1840 neared, each time, the gentleman from Kentucky had to decide whether to go for the gold once more. However, he would find the way in both contests littered with other Whig contenders in addition to old Sweet Sandy Whiskers (aka: Martin Van Buren) on the Democratic side. Nevertheless, the Senator persevered through the late 1830s and would take on presidents, generals, senators, pro-slavery southerners, and abolitionists in his quest to make it to the White House. Source information for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
Henry Clay takes over the State Department and finds he has big shoes to fill coming in after John Quincy Adams. As he assumes his duties, he is forced to deal with personal tragedy, poor health, and difficult diplomatic negotiations. Though scoring some wins abroad as new treaties are entered into, Clay only meets with frustration when dealing with the British and with folks back home in Kentucky. Listen in as we discuss the period of Clay’s life that one historian calls “the least congenial period of his whole official life.” Source information for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
The time has finally come for President Harrison to meet his maker. However, as with many things, the story of Harrison’s last days is not as clear cut as it’s been made out to be in history. I look at the details of his last illness as well as how 21st century medical knowledge questions the diagnosis of pneumonia as his cause of death. Also, I spend some time on the idea of legacy and a few ways, both directly and tangentially, Harrison’s life and death contributed to the future. Source information for his episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
Though the presidency of William Henry Harrison was short, the emotions of those thirty days ran the gamut. The jubilation and mirth of the inauguration quickly gave way to the frustration of trying to appease supporters with patronage. The stress got to Harrison so much that Andrew and I had to censor him on his own show (this is supposed to be a family-friendly show, General – control yourself!). Between the office seekers, Henry Clay’s impetuousness, and the looming fiscal crisis, Harrison did not have an easy go of it in the first few weeks but did still manage to keep up a lively social calendar before a doctor was called in on March 26th. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.